Planning a trip to Ireland’s ANCIENT EAST? Don’t miss these three gardens …
Birr Castle, Gardens & Science Centre, Co Offaly
Originally landscaped around the lake by Sir William Parsons in the 18th century, the demesne includes formal gardens with old roses and wisteria and an impressive plant collection with rare species from around the world. Over 40 varieties of trees and the world’s tallest box hedges, some of which are over 300 years old, are other attractions. There’s also the Historic Science Centre, which includes a café and shop, which houses the Great Telescope, built in the early 1840s by the Third Earl of Rosse and still functioning today.
Huntington Castle & Gardens, Co Carlow
Huntington Castle and Gardens is a member of the Carlow Garden Trail and the 17th-century house is a treasure trove of historical architecture and objects, while the Yew Tree Walk, Lime Tree Avenue and water features are just some of the inspiring elements of Huntington’s gardens and grounds. The River Derry, the boundary line between counties Wexford and Carlow, flows along the bottom of the garden wilderness, providing a setting for woodland walks.
Emo Court House, Co Laois
Surrounded by gardens that were first laid out in the 18th century, the estate is a joy to explore with formal lawns, a lake, majestic sequoias and rare flora framed by woodland walks. The extensive grounds, decorated with Greek sculptures, contain over 1,000 different trees with guided tours available every hour.
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